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Transparency: Does it only benefit consumers?

Update from Care Opinion Australia

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Some days it feels like the word ‘transparency’ has become the latest buzz word.

In recent years, the focus on transparency has increased, particularly as care crises in the health and aged care sectors come under the spotlight. National frameworks such as the NSQHS Standards demand transparency. The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety have shone a spotlight on the lack of transparency in this industry. While it is important for consumers to know that public organisational accountability and openness is becoming the expectation rather than the exception, what does it mean for staff? The ones I think about are the professionals on the front-line - working long hours, combatting compassion fatigue, toeing the bureaucratic red-tape while constantly providing care to those in need and their loved ones. More often than not, feedback told on Care Opinion features our health care professionals delivering the care. How do they feel about receiving such feedback online? Does it impact them?

To explore this in more detail, I conducted a case study on small health service in rural Victoria. It analysed quantitative and qualitative data generated about Kerang District Health (Kerang) based on its experience with a pilot program to trial the use of the Care Opinion platform.

The study revealed that 79 per cent of published stories were assessed as purely positive, many of which personally and publicly commended staff, thus motivating and encouraging staff to continue to provide good care and/or to improve their provision of care.

Despite initial staff apprehension, it was heartening to hear that feedback was no longer feared, staff experience increased pride in their work, they liked reading the feedback and felt encouraged by positive comments to keep up the great work.

Read the case study here to see how public, online feedback in narrative dialogical form radically transformed the culture of feedback-fatigue to one where feedback was welcomed, sought and perceived as a gift.

Response from Michael Greco, Co-Founder, Care Opinion Australia on

Great work Rebecca, particularly in highlighting the impact on staff from this rural healthcare organisation. It's the way of the future as we move to the covid-normal way of living - and put simply, it's good for staff, consumers and the general community to engage this way

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